Breaking The Glass Ceiling Essay

The Glass Ceiling Essay

The “Glass Ceiling” is the term giving to the invisible obstacles sometimes found in the workforce. The barriers that limit women’s and minorities progress toward employment equity extend from the glass ceiling at the top of corporations to the floor of low paying jobs in the labor market. These barriers are created by a process at exclusion that continuously eliminates women, minorities, and other underprivileged groups from being candidates of higher positions. When a company exercises this type of discrimination, they look for the most defensible explanation they can find to make this behavior seem acceptable. The “glass ceiling” is still very much a part of the corporate world today as it was many years ago. This is evident by the hindered progress of women and minorities seen in much of the corporate workforce.
In order to develop the theme of influence of the invisible glass ceiling to the work place, it is important to rely on the background of this opinion. According to the economical point of view, the glass ceiling is referred to as the unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the top of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualification or achievements. This metaphor was initially only applied to women, but quickly extended to minority men as well (Shedd).
While legislation regarding discrimination based on gender prevents overt discrimination, subtle measures have been found to exist within many organizations which effectively prevent women from moving into the highest levels of management. These include doubtful success criteria, inaccurate perception of women’s aspirations and progress, and cultural biases against working women (Miller 18).
Blocked opportunities refer to structural barriers that women and minorities come into conflict with that prevent their advancement within an organization. People who feel that they have had their opportunities blocked also feel that their aspirations have been limited.
Some organizations mirror society’s idea about which group of workers are appropriate for certain types of jobs. Although hiring and promotion are supposed to be based on rational and universal criteria, they often express informal expectations about gender, race, and class of the people best suited for particular positions, producing race and gender stratified work forces. Men are thought to be more ambitious, task-oriented, and work involved; while women are considered less motivated, less committed, and more geared towards work relationships than work itself.
Gender and race are often synonymous with one’s place in organizational power structure. Those individuals who occupy the top positions have a tradition in maintaining traditional rules and procedures related to hiring, seniority, and other personnel practices that work to their advantage and exclude others. A good example is that corporate policies and practices can subtly maintain the status quo by keeping...

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The Glass Ceiling Essay

From the time women started working, they have been facing the challenge of breaking the glass ceiling in order to climb to the top of the corporate hierarchy. Although the glass ceiling is not as prominent as it was in the past, it is still very real, and it affects not only women but other minorities. Whether it is the ceiling, wall, elevator, or cage, the glass prevents women from advancing in their careers. It has existed from the beginning, and even with the help of equality laws, it still poses a problem today. However, thanks to several outstanding women, the glass has developed several cracks; the future appears brighter. It is a challenge, but it is not impossible: Women can break the glass and soar to the top!
The glass ceiling is a subtle barrier of discrimination that limits minorities from moving up the corporate ladder. There are other barriers referred to as glass walls or glass elevators that restrict women’s progress in only certain career fields (Mathis and Jackson 85). Although the glass barriers can affect all minorities, they are best known for stalling the success of women. As Ann Morrison—author and researcher—discovered through her “Executive Women Project”, the glass ceiling is not the prevention of one who cannot handle an executive-level position, but instead, the discrimination of women simply because of their gender (Morrison 13). Although there is clear evidence of the inequality between genders, some still believe that the glass ceiling is just a self-imposed barrier better referred to as a glass cage “held together by the misgivings [women] have about [their] ability to succeed and handle the demands of leadership” (Warrell). The idea of the glass cage is just another product of the glass ceiling and one more barrier that women have to face. The first step to breaking these barriers is to understand what causes them to exist.
There are numerous reasons behind the existence of the glass that span from the simple discrimination based solely off gender to the negative stereotype of women who choose their jobs over their children. At the beginning, the glass ceiling was mainly caused by the inequality between genders. Women were just starting to enter the workforce that was run completely by men, and the men thought that they were superior. However, after decades of enormous strides taken by women, this inequality has somewhat decreased. The reasons for the barrier today are built off those from the past but are more widespread. The Feminist Majority Foundation credits a main cause to the cycle of men holding the higher level positions and in turn hiring more men for those positions. This “Old-Boy Network” excludes women from important meetings and prevents them from earning promotions (“Empowering Women in Business: The Glass Ceiling”).
Although it would be easier for women to blame men for being the only reason behind the problems they face in career advancement, it would not be correct. In Lean In: Women, Work,...

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Read more

The Glass Ceiling and the Wage Gap

2725 words - 11 pages Women face many obstacles as they climb their career’s hierarchy and for many different reasons their wage is comparably less than that of males. After the movements toward equality in the workplace, many think that sex discrimination isn’t present anymore. However, many still believe that the glass ceiling hasn’t shattered and still possesses a barrier for many women in the labor force. The glass ceiling and the wage gap exist for various...

Minority Women and the Glass Ceiling

1162 words - 5 pages Minority Women and the Glass CeilingThe challenge of getting minority women into senior-level management positions is a daunting one. While there is a significant increase in women and minorities in the workplace, few have made it all the way to the top. As Americans continue to mature, nearly half of all workers present in or entering the workforce will be women....

The History and Breakdown of the Glass Ceiling

2473 words - 10 pages The History and Breakdown of the Glass Ceiling The term the "glass ceiling" first came into use in 1986 when two Wall Street Journal reporters coined the phrase to describe the invisible barrier that blocks women from the top jobs in corporate America. (Glass Ceiling Commission,"Successful Initiatives "). Since then the metaphor has also been applied to the barriers of minorities. The Glass Ceiling Effect has been around for...

The Glass Ceiling and the Lack of Female Executive Leadership

2355 words - 9 pages The existence of the glass ceiling reminds us of current issues in gender equality and female leadership, faced by the business community both in the United States and abroad. The Civil rights movement and incentives towards feminization of various aspects of public life resulted in official recognition of equal rights and opportunities for female professionals; however, in many cases such recognition takes purely formal shapes. In too many cases...

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3258 words - 13 pages Unfortunately, even today, women are still trying to prove themselves equal to men in many ways. The “glass ceiling” is perhaps one of the most familiar and evocative metaphors to surface from the 20th century. This expression has been used widely in the popular media as well as in official government reports. The image suggest that although it may be the case now that women are able to get through the front door professional hierarchies, at...

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1229 words - 5 pages The Glass Ceiling: Fact or Illusion The glass ceiling is it a fact or an illusion? The two words “Glass Ceiling” are used to describe the barrier that exists for women and minorities-when it comes to getting promoted into the upper echelons of a company. Does the ceiling exist or is it a figment of the imagination? The writer intentions are to present a picture of that ceiling, and show how it plays a part in corporate America. That in fact...

Macro View on Gender Discrimination

1548 words - 6 pages Prologue of the study: a macro view Gender discrimination is a one of the burning issues that social science academia across the globe is concerned about not only for academic research but also view as a societal problem. Non-academic intelligentsia ranging from research institutes, policy studies body to government authorities are also not in lack of interest in this sector. Many operational features of gender discrimination have been identified...

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2373 words - 9 pages Women in The Workplace Gender plays a huge role in workplace 'success' and can be a big challenge especially if the employee is a woman in a male dominated workplace or career. No matter how 'hard-nosed,' 'ruthless,' 'workaholic' a woman may be, or how much personal success she achieves, there will always tend to be some type of obstacle to keep her from getting completely to the top of the corporate ladder. She must also still...

Advice on Selecting a Bathroom Ceiling Light

716 words - 3 pages When designing any new bathroom or remodeling an existing bathroom space, you need to consider installing a bathroom ceiling light that provides the best possible light in your home's bathroom. Whether you are creating a classic-looking bathroom or a sleek modern styled bathroom, you will want to make sure that you provide plenty of light in your bathroom to make it feel open and airy. Then your bathroom will be a glamorous space that adds to...

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2336 words - 9 pages Women face many obstacles as they climb their career’s hierarchy and for many different reasons, their wage is comparably less than that of males. After the movements toward equality in the workplace, many think that sex discrimination isn’t present anymore. However, many still believe that the glass ceiling hasn’t shattered and still possesses a barrier for many women in the labor force. The wage gap proves a serious distinction between genders...

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